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Google is implied during antitrust investigation for new Internet encryption protocol




  Google: Illustration

Google is reportedly under antitrust control for its plans to deploy a new DNS encryption protocol.


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Google's plans to use a new Internet protocol have raised concerns among congressional antitrust investigators who worry it might give the company an unfair competitive advantage, the Wall Street Journal reported Sunday. Investigators want to know if Google will use data collected through the new protocol for commercial purposes.

Investigators for the House Judiciary Committee asked Google in a September 13 letter for information about its "decision to adopt or promote the adoption" of the protocol, the magazine reported.

The new standard, called DNS Over HTTPS, aims to improve Internet privacy and security by encrypting traffic, and preventing hackers from forging websites. The company plans to begin testing the new protocol with Chrome browser users next month.

Privacy is ahead of the burner these days as consumers manage to understand how much data companies have collected from them. Facebook is still working on the Cambridge Analytica scandal, in which the UK-based company obtained data on 87 million people without their permission.

But the new standard could change Internet competition, where cable and wireless companies were cut off from much of users' valuable DNS surfing data. This will give Google an unfair advantage in user data, companies worry.

"Google has no plans to centralize or change people's DNS providers to Google by default," a spokesman for Google said. "Any claim that we are trying to become the centralized encrypted DNS provider is inaccurate."

Leaders of the House Judiciary Committee conduct an antitrust investigation by Google, as well as Apple, Amazon and Facebook, exploring competition in online markets and whether major technology companies are engaging in "anticompetitive behavior."

The probe of the House comes as tech giants face a flood of scrutiny from government regulators, who have targeted tech companies over potential anticompetitive behavior, privacy and data misuse.

Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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